Betty’s Week

            By Betty Shearer

Last Wednesday morning did not start out on a pleasant note. Apparently during the night Tuesday we had some wind. When I wound my way down my hill, I encountered a limb that reached completely across the driveway. Managed to stop before hitting it.

The thing was about 12 to 14 feet long and maybe five to six inches in diameter – it was heavy. I tugged and pulled for about 10 minutes and managed to get it far enough off the driveway to pass. Also had to pick up a pile of smaller branches. This was all in total darkness, so there was  no way to see where it came from. Just hoped no more dead tree limbs came down while I was under it.

I stopped before going up the hill Wednesday afternoon to see if I could tell where that dead tree was but I still have not located it. We had lots of wind over the weekend and still no more debris has fallen. From it’s bark, I’m pretty sure it’s a pine, but all the pines I see are still green. To add to the mystery, just a few weeks ago my brothers brought the chain saw and trimmed back all the trees and shrubs that seemed threatening. Guess they’d better come back and check again, or maybe it was just one broken limb left over from the ice storm – they do keep falling.

After I finally got on the road, the morning traffic was heavy. At the 315/bypass intersection I had to wait for several vehicle to pass, and then even on Main Street I had several vehicles. However the worst was the 32/bypass intersection, where I waited for a gravel truck, a tanker, a log truck, and many other pickups, vans and cars, as we took our turns at the four-way. This was going out to Dunn’s and getting back onto the by-pass was  not much better.

The only thing missing were school buses. Found them all at the four-way at Central and Lafayette – this area looked like there had been a school bus explosion. Guess all the buses were arriving at the same time.

Everyone on the paper route seem in good spirits and the discussions centered mainly around the track of the hurricane, concern for relatives and friends in southern Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi; and then how it would likely affect our area.

With the possibility of strong winds and rain later in the week, I decided to go to Panola County Thursday morning. Cleaned out a couple of closets and took Jimmie T-shirts and pants that were still in pretty good condition (well, no holes and good enough for house cleaning and yard work).
I have a church wardrobe and work clothes – jeans, twills, T-shirts and regular shirts. Some of my work duds had gotten a little scruffy. Jimmie only had scrubs for work, so she is a little short on jeans, shorts and shirts and I had accumulated a closet full. So I shared and in doing so freed up some closet space.
I also rearranged a freezer and shared some of my surplus food. Found five 40-ounce packages of bacon, which I would not have eaten up in a couple of years. The Coles use lots of bacon, especially during tomato season. Also found extra packages of pork chops, roast and even a few veggies. Made a pretty good hole to hold fresh peas provided by my boss.

Didn’t share the peas with Jimmie and she was disappointed – felt kinda bad. Truth was I just did not think about it and was not driving back to take her a mess. After I cooked a pot and ate way too many – they were so good – I felt even worse. I did share a couple of squash, but I ate all the okra. She divided her tomatoes with me.

For supper Thursday night I had fresh purple hull peas, fried okra, corn, tomatoes and cornbread – ate way too much, but it sure was delicious.
Thursday night we had terrible thunder storms and wind, but no rain. Stayed up until one o’clock and then got up about six Friday morning. Jimmie called before eight to see if I was okay. Said she’d checked on Carolyn and Bo in Courtland, Gina and Don in Batesville, and Ginny and Rance in Oxford, and I was the last on her list. They were all fine, even though a large tornado was spotted over Batesville and Oxford, but neither touched down and they did no damage.
Watching the news it seems that Tennessee and Alabama got more rain and wind that we did. The only rain at my house was during the night Thursday, when it came a downpour for a while. Watched the clouds all day Friday and Saturday – clouds would get very black, with thunder and lightening, and then the sun would come out. Never did rain.

I just took a vacation on Friday. I cleaned up the kitchen, but left the rest of the house needing cleaning and the laundry until Saturday. Alternated between the news, Hallmark movies and the mysteries on Hallmark Mysteries and Movies. I’m enjoying the Matlock series, second  Perry Mason shows,  Murder She Wrote, Diagnosis Murder and Magnum P.I. These shows are new to me, even though they aired for the first time probably 40 or more years ago. Commercials are new though and I even watched them. One of my favorite is the State Farm ad where the pizza delivery person is rewarding a State Farm customer with pizza, brownies and a side of ranch dressing (looks like about a two gallon jug). I have to laugh each time this airs, because our young people at Woodland Hills eat Ranch dressing with everything and we keep gallon jugs in the fridge. They want it on fries, chicken strips and pizza (didn’t expect adults to indulge in this combination, but apparently they do).

Saturday afternoon as the sun came out I was amazed that I had a lemon yellow display in my front yard. There were hundreds of lemon yellow butterflies in the green bushes, especially on the Carolina Jasmine (its blooms are yellow but they’d been gone for several months now). Don’t know what was attracting the butterflies. Then adding to the yellow decor was a beautiful little yellow bird, with bronze wings. My knowledge of birds is limited to crows, black birds, jay birds, robins, and wrens, so have no idea what this little bird was. Birds are still eating the poke berries – must not be poisoning them because the bushes are still filled with birds.

Farmers and gardeners are still complaining about the deer eating up everything in sight. They are destroying cantaloupes, watermelons and even pumpkins, along with peas, beans and other veggies. All deer hunters need to kill their limits during this year’s seasons. If deer keep multiplying they are going to die of starvation and that’s much worse than being killed by a hunter. Also, if the deer population is not controlled, we may not have food on our tables.

Sunday’s attendance was down a bit at Woodland Hills. We still have several out due to illness and a few out on vacation. Report seemed to be that school is going as well as possible and students are glad to be back in a traditional classroom setting. We did not have the usual fifth Sunday Lord’s Supper observance, but hopefully in the near future all services of the church will be back on schedule. Bro. Rob Jones brought another informative and uplifting sermon. We are so blessed that God sent him our way.
After service, Wanda and Bud again treated me to Sunday lunch and, as always, it was a delightful outing. We picked up lunch in Oxford and came back to the fellowship hall, which often is our Sunday dining room. After we ate it was a pleasure to visit with Bro. Rob for a time. He was involved in school homework and we interrupted it.
Coming up this weekend is the Labor Day Holiday. It’s hard to believe that we’ve run right through August and it’s now September and Labor Day. I’ve never been able to celebrate this holiday, though. I was raised on the farm, and even when we got a holiday from school, we had to pick cotton – only time we got to celebrate this holiday was if it rained. Then I married into a small-town newspaper family and there are no holidays on the first three days of the week and that’s 52 weeks a year. Do hope all of you who get to celebrate next Monday will have a great time and think about us who honor this day in the proper way – working.

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